Charles Lambert’s PRODIGAL longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019

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Charles Lambert’s novel PRODIGAL, published by Gallic Books in August 2018, has been longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019. The prize honours writers “whose work explores the LGBT experience, whether in poetry, prose, fiction, or nonfiction”. While there has previously been a Polari First Book Prize, this year is the first time that there will be an award given to an established writer also. The shortlist will be announced at a special Polari Salon at the Southbank Centre on 26 July and the winner announced in October during the London Literature Festival.

PRODIGAL is a fearless, elegantly written exploration of family, trust, death, and what we do to one another in the name of love, told within the wider context of a beautiful yet troubling, queer coming-of-age tale.

Jeremy, a hapless man in his late 50s, scrapes together a living in Paris by writing soft-core pornography under the saucy guise of ‘Nathalie Cray’. When his all-but-estranged sister tells him their father is on his deathbed, Jeremy reluctantly travels back to his parental home in the depths of the English countryside.

Confronted with a life that he had always been eager to escape, his return marks the start of an emotionally fraught journey into the family’s chequered past. The journey takes him back to the unexpected death of his mother in a provincial Greek hospital years earlier and, further back, to the moment at which the Eldritch family fell apart.

It’s a journey composed of revelations, of secrets disclosed and not disclosed, and of something that might, or might not, be reconciliation...

Last year Charles’s novel THE CHILDREN’S HOME was included in a New York Times list of 13 Haunted Books to read before watching THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE.

Born in England, Charles lives in Fondi, near Rome, working as a university teacher and freelance editor. His first novel, LITTLE MONSTERS, a Good Housekeeping selection, was published in 2008 by Picador, the same year as THE SCENT OF CINNAMON AND OTHER STORIES (Salt Publishing), the title story of which was an O. Henry Prize winner. His second novel, ANY HUMAN FACE (Picador), was described by the Telegraph as 'a slow-burning, beautifully written crime story that brings to life the Rome that tourists don't see - luckily for them.'

In 2014, Charles’s experimental autobiography WITH A ZERO AT ITS HEART (The Friday Project) was one of the Guardian's top ten books of that year. THE CHILDREN’S HOME, a dystopic story of a haunted house, was published in 2016 to widespread praise, followed by TWO DARK TALES, in 2017, both by Gallic Books.

Praise for Charles Lambert

‘Charles Lambert writes as if his life depends on it. He takes risks at every turn.’ – Hannah Tinti

‘Charles Lambert is a seriously good writer.' – Dame Beryl Bainbridge

‘Compelling reading.’ – Patricia Duncker

‘Charles Lambert is a terrific, devious storyteller.’ – Owen King


‘A thoroughly original entry into the tradition of ghost stories, eschewing convention …compulsively readable…A one-of-a-kind literary horror story.’ – Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

‘Lambert carefully constructs the restricted sphere that Fletcher inhabits, leaving the chaotic larger world and the source of his family fortune largely a mystery. After slowly unfolding Fletcher’s story, Lambert then accelerates the pace to a breathtaking climax. THE CHILDREN’S HOME is a magical, mesmerizing tale about the courage it takes to confront the unknown.’ – Booklist, Starred Review

‘THE CHILDREN’S HOME is like a strange dream in which you can’t quite tell if you’re awake…The resulting story is a weird, poignant journey reminiscent of Calvino that explores fear, power, revenge and redemption. Lambert’s story is addictive … its potent, often brutal, images have a lasting power.’ – Sheri Bodoh, BookPage

Visit Charles’ blog

You can also follow Charles on Twitter.


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In its first week of sale, Sheila O’Flanagan’s latest novel HER HUSBAND’S MISTAKE (Headline, UK and Audio) jumped straight to the Number One spot on the Irish Times Bestseller list this weekend. Her international best-selling novel THE MISSING WIFE (LB Forlag, World Swedish) also reached Number One on the Swedish bestseller list last week.

HER HUSBAND’S MISTAKE tells the story of Roxy who, after twenty years of marriage and with two carefree kids, thinks she and Dave are still the perfect couple. Until the day she comes home unexpectedly, and finds Dave in bed with their attractive, single neighbour. Suddenly Roxy isn't sure about anything - her past, the business she's taken over from her dad, or what her family's future might be. She's spent so long caring about everyone else that she's forgotten what she actually wants. But something has changed. And Roxy has a decision to make. Whether it's with Dave, or without him, it's time for Roxy to start living for herself.

Sheila O’Flanagan is an international bestselling novelist, with more than 7.5 million copies sold. Numerous novels have been immediate and long-lasting No 1s in Ireland, UK Top 10 Sunday Times Bestsellers and Kindle Bestsellers, and she is widely published around the world. She is the recipient of the prestigious Irish Tatler Literary Woman of the Year Award.

Praise for Sheila O’Flanagan

'O'Flanagan doesn't skirt the pain of heartache but embraces it along with the humour (and imperfect judgment) that give her characters their aching credibility... Despite some dark themes, the book's overall tone is light and hopeful.' - Irish Independent on HER HUSBAND’S MISTAKE

‘O'Flanagan is one of our best-known, best-loved and most prolific women's fiction authors’ – Irish Independent



‘One of my favourite authors’ – Marian Keyes

O'Flanagan's writing is crisp and concise and her plotting deftBelfast Telegraph

'One of our best storytellers' – Irish Mail on Sunday

Visit Sheila’s website.

Follow Sheila on Twitter.


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Peter James’ fifteenth Detective Superintendent Roy Grace novel, DEAD AT FIRST SIGHT, shot straight to the Number One spot in the Sunday Times bestseller list this past Bank Holiday weekend. Launched with a splendid party on Brighton Pier and topping the charts after only a part-week sale, DEAD AT FIRST SIGHT is Peter’s fourteenth Nnumber One bestselling novel and holds strong at Number One for this coming weekend too!

In DEAD AT FIRST SIGHT, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace exposes the dark side of the internet. He is called to investigate the suicide of a woman in Brighton that is clearly not what it seems. As his investigations continue, a handsome Brighton motivational speaker comes forward. He’s discovered his identity is being used to scam women online. The first he knew of it was a phone call from one of them, out of the blue, saying, ‘You don’t know me, but I thought I knew you’. That woman is now dead. Roy Grace realises he is looking at the tip of an iceberg. A global empire built on clever, cruel internet scams and the murder of anyone who threatens to expose them.

Peter James’ Roy Grace series has been translated into thirty-seven languages with worldwide sales of over nineteen million copies. In 2015 WH Smith customers voted him the Greatest Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he was awarded the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger, a lifetime achievement award for sustained excellence. In 2018 he received a Specsavers Honorary Platinum Bestseller Award.

Peter James at the DEAD AT FIRST SIGHT launch in Brighton. Credit: Graham Franks

Peter James at the DEAD AT FIRST SIGHT launch in Brighton.
Credit: Graham Franks

Pan Macmillan will publish the paperback of his standalone thriller ABSOLUTE PROOF in July 2019 and THE SECRET OF COLD HILL, the sequel to THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL (which has also been adapted for stage and touring this year) in October 2019.

Praise for Peter James:

‘Peter James, Britain’s closest equivalent to Stephen King’ — Sunday Times

'Peter James is one of the best crime writers in the business.' – Karin Slaughter

‘In my thirty-four years of policing, never have I come across a writer who so accurately depicts “The Job“’ – Detective Investigator Pat Lanigan, Office of the District Attorney, NYPD

‘Sinister and riveting… Peter James is one of the best British crime writers, and therefore one of the best in the world.’ – Lee Child